Facebook is shutting down its dedicated Gaming app for Android and iOS. The app will stop working on 28 October 2022. It will also be removed from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store after that date. The company is notifying users of this shutdown through an in-app banner. Users can download their search data from the app before it heads to the graveyard.
Facebook entered the live game streaming space in 2018. Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer were some of the biggest names in the industry at that time. Thanks to its huge user base, Facebook Gaming quickly became a reckoning force too, enough for the company to launch a mobile app in April 2020. The social media biggie announced programs to support and attract big-name gamers to its platform. It even absorbed Microsoft’s Mixer into Facebook Gaming.
The platform saw solid growth in viewership during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic when everyone was staying home and exploring ways to keep themselves entertained. But game streaming started dropping in popularity as the world opened after pandemic lockdowns. It’s not just Facebook Gaming, but platforms like YouTube and Twitch also saw a decline in viewership. Strealabs reported an 8.4 percent quarterly decline in hours watched and a 12 percent decline in hours streamed across all platforms in Q2 2022.
As this downward trend continues, Facebook has decided to pull the plug on the dedicated Gaming app so it can utilize the resources elsewhere. Well, the company didn’t specify the reason for this shutdown, but it likely doesn’t see the need to dedicate resources to a separate app for live game streaming. It already offers most of the features through the main Facebook app. The web version of Facebook Gaming will also continue to exist.
Facebook is killing its Gaming app just two years after its launch
Shortly after users started posting screenshots of the in-app banner notifying the upcoming shutdown of the Facebook Gaming app on Twitter, the company released an official statement to TechCrunch. “We’ll continue to support our gaming communities, developers, and creators on the main Facebook app where hundreds of millions of people play games, watch gaming videos and connect in gaming Groups each month,” part of the statement read.
This more or less confirms that Facebook wants to develop Gaming as another core feature within its main social media app. YouTube did something similar with its Gaming app back in May 2019. The company said a separate app is creating confusion among fans, so it integrated the game streaming service into the main YouTube app.
— Gothalion (@Gothalion) August 29, 2022